Being foreign “washashores” opening a unique, contemporary inn on Cape Cod, life was always likely to be easier if we could avoid making the locals restless. We needn’t have worried…
The neighbors within whose midst we have dropped have been our greatest champions and support system. In much the same way that you can’t choose your family, with neighbors you get what you get. You simply breath in and hope that the bloke next door doesn’t a) believe he’s a reincarnated Keith Moon, b) wear a hockey mask and answer to the name Jason or c) start all his sentences with “you don’t want to do that..”
We have been incredibly fortunate with the group of characters who make up our immediate neighbors. On one side, taking care of our spiritual needs, we have a local Baptist minister who, naturally, is called John. John the Baptist greets us warmly each morning with his lovely family and frankly doesn’t appear to be a man who would ever lose his head.
On the other side we have Cape Cod royalty! The family Chase has been on the Cape since the 1600’s when ”Great Uncle Billy” arrived off the boat from the UK. He was a little surprised at the time as he had thought he’d got on the cross-channel ferry so that he could do some duty free wine shopping in France. Many generations later we arrive at our neighbor Phil, whose generosity and enthusiasm are without bounds. We talk over the fence like Tim & Wilson from TV’s “Tool Time” peering at times through the cracks in the fence. A fence upon which, in the summer months, he places home-grown vegetables for us and across which he passes bottles of the latest micro-brewery beer he’s discovered to help me in times of guest overload!
Further down the road is the local antique shop, “Back in Tyme”. This is where Barb & Rich hold court. I’m not sure on exactly how old Rich might be, but I have the feeling that he’s older than most of the antiques he sells. That said I wasn’t going to say no when he offered to help dig the holes for the trees I planted last spring. It doesn’t matter how old you are, a little bit of exercise and fresh air is always good for you and I’m sure the hernia he suffered that day was a pre-existing condition. Rich has run a multitude of businesses across the state and he remains adamant in his advice that we could have doubled our business if we’d only thought to put microwaves in all the rooms! Forget the free WiFi and the iPod stations apparently what a discerning guests craves is a microwave in the bedroom.
Behind us, at the back of our woods, are Melissa and her Reaching Heart Studio, where she gives dance, ballet, pilates and yoga classes. An open-mind is always handy when asking an artistic type for ideas. After a seemingly innocent question to Melissa on what I could do to bring our businesses closer together, I found myself hacking my way through the woods building a “fairy” path to her studio. This was a task that I had to improvise as all Google searches for “How To Build A Fairy Path” brought zero results.
Directly opposite are Penny & Joe. Joe provides regular tennis sparring during the summer as I beat out any frustrations. We zip around the court like Gerulaitis against Borg in the classic 1977 Wimbledon semi-final. Although those who’ve witnessed our athletic dueling have suggested that geriatric might be a more fitting description than Gerulaitis. Penny & Annabelle walk each morning to the beach discussing the twists and turns of “Revenge” and coming up with grand landscaping schemes, which I’m now convinced is simply a strategy to keep Joe and me in hard labor ad infinitum…
A final very warm mention goes to Mairead & Bob who were the first to welcome us and have shown us the most wonderfully kind hospitality. A Guiness is always available at their house along with the latest news on life on the Cape and the happenings at Harwich Junior Theatre. Just don’t ask Bob about Whitey!
We’re very happy to be able to call them all friends and thank them all for making our move to Harwich, Cape Cod so smooth.